NASHVILLE, Tenn./GUNTOWN, Mississippi (Reuters) - The two young girls kidnapped by a man suspected of killing of their mother and older sister were released from a Tennessee hospital on Friday morning after a two-week ordeal that ended in the suicide of their captor.
The girls, 12-year-old Alexandria Bain and her 8-year-old sister, Kyliyah, left Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis at about 6:15 a.m., hospital spokeswoman Anne Glankler said.
“I‘m so glad they’re OK,” Glankler said.
The girls were hospitalized Thursday night after they were found in northern Mississippi where Adam Mayes, 35, had been hiding with them.
Mayes, briefly the most-wanted fugitive in America, killed himself with a gunshot to the head when police closed in and ordered him to surrender, according to authorities.
Mississippi state game wardens had come across Mayes and the girls in the woods behind a church in Alpine, Mississippi, 75 miles from the rural western Tennessee town of Whiteville, where the girls lived.
“I told them it’s going to be OK,” Union County Sheriff Jimmy Edwards said he told the girls. “I gave them a big hug ... When I seen these kids, it was a huge relief.”
The girls’ family members went to the hospital Thursday night, Glankler said. She did not reveal who the girls went home with Friday.
Authorities described Mayes as a friend of the Bain family, but said the relationship went wrong when the Bains announced a plan to move to Arizona. The husband reported his wife and three girls missing on April 27 when Mayes was helping them move.
Authorities said Mayes killed Jo Ann Bain, 31, and her oldest daughter, 14-year-old Adrienne, at their home that day, taking the two younger girls with him.
The bodies of the mother and older daughter were found in shallow graves on property belonging to Mayes’ mother in the northern Mississippi town of Guntown last weekend.
According to court affidavits, Mayes’ wife, Teresa, told investigators he had intended to take the two younger girls.
Mayes’ wife and mother were arrested Sunday and detained in Hardeman County Jail pending a preliminary hearing May 22.
Authorities tracked Mayes to the woods near Alpine, which is about 10 miles west of Guntown.
“Officers immediately issued commands for Adam Mayes to show his hands. Mayes pulled a semi-automatic weapon from his waistband and shot himself in the head,” said Aaron T. Ford, Special Agent In Charge of the FBI’s Memphis division.
The two girls were found lying on the ground nearby, where they were “hungry, thirsty and dehydrated” and suffering from exposure and poison ivy, he added.
“They look like they’ve been in the woods for three days,” Ford said.
He declined to say if the girls knew their mother and sister had been killed.
Teresa Mayes was charged this week with first-degree murder and multiple counts of “especially aggravated kidnapping.” Adam Mayes had been charged in absentia with the same counts.
Mayes’ mother, Mary, faces four counts of conspiracy to commit especially aggravated kidnapping.
The FBI had offered a $100,000 reward for Mayes, and on Wednesday placed him on the bureau’s “Ten Most Wanted Fugitive List,” saying he ranked No. 1 on the list. The FBI reward was in addition to $71,000 already offered by other sources.
Reporting by Tim Ghianni in Nashville and Emily Le Coz in Guntown; Writing by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Dan Burns and Doina Chiacu